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This 1983 AMC Eagle SX/4 represents one of the most influential vehicles in the evolution of modern transportation. While all-wheel drive is ubiquitous in today’s passenger vehicles, 40 years ago it meant you were working a clutch on a rugged Jeep or pickup truck. AMC changed all that by introducing an everyday passenger vehicle with these same capabilities. This created an entirely new market segment that forever changed the automotive landscape.
The Eagle was available in several body styles throughout its lifetime. This included the SX/4 hatchback which was only available from 1981-1983 and billed as “the sports car that doesn’t always need a road”. This example had a single owner for more than 30 years. She purchased it new from Galloway Motors in Tucson, AZ shortly after her 60th birthday. It now shows 77k miles and is in very good condition throughout. It has an unmistakable look with its short wheelbase, extra ground clearance, and Kraton wheel arches. It has held up well due in part to the epoxy bath and Ziebart rustproofing that all Eagles received at the factory.
Under the hood is the optional 4.2L straight six backed by an automatic transmission – a unique feature for an all-wheel drive vehicle of the day. This is followed by a novel transfer case with a viscous coupling feeding the Dana 30 / 35 differentials. This was all controlled by the Select Drive system to change between 2WD and 4WD. The innovations continued with an independent front suspension (the first such 4WD vehicle in the US) and a front differential mounted to the engine block. Power steering and power front disc brakes were standard equipment.
The interior is in remarkable condition. The vinyl seats look great as do the headliner, door panels, dash, and carpet. All gauges work properly as do the wipers, horn, parking brake, and AM radio. So do the headlights, turn signals, dash lights, and courtesy lighting. Even the factory air conditioning works! Note the heater core has been bypassed. This Eagle also includes original documentation showing continuous ownership for more than three decades.
The AMC Eagle saw only one generation of production, from 1980-87, and disappeared shortly after Chrysler’s acquisition of AMC. But that was enough time to alter the marketplace and give rise to so many vehicles we see today, making the Eagle as historic as it is classic. Further, the SX/4 model has proven to be the most desirable of the bunch (as a coupe will often do). And while the Eagle was years ahead of its time, it is ironically years behind on the price curve, making it one of the most affordable collector cars on the market.
- Air Conditioning
- AM Radio
- Power Brakes
- Power Steering
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